Latest Stories

AFP: Marines can fire back


FALLEN SOLDIERS Fellow soldiers look at the remains of the seven Philippine Marines killed during a clash with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Patikul, Sulu, on Saturday, at Marine headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

Tell it to the Marines.

That was basically the angry reply on Monday of Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to a comment by retired Marine Col. Ariel Querubin that Marines on a test mission were not supposed to engage the enemy in battle.

Bautista brushed aside Querubin’s statement to the Inquirer in a telephone interview on Sunday suggesting that the killings of seven Marines on Saturday in Patikul, Sulu province, by Abu Sayyaf bandits might have been caused by a breach in military protocol.

Like any other soldier, the Marines are trained to engage and fire back at the enemy when the situation calls for it, Bautista said during a visit at the wake of the fallen soldiers at Marine headquarters in Fort Bonifacio.

“You cannot discount the possibility of an encounter whether you are in training or not. That is a possibility and that is what we prepare for,” he said. He ruled out an AFP review of the training doctrine of the Marine reconnaissance team despite Saturday’s incident, in which seven Abu Sayyaf men were also killed.

“That is part of the curriculum of the training of the Marines, of the Force Recon,” Bautista stressed.


Bautista said most of Querubin’s statements were “unfounded.”

“I don’t think that is the real situation. Colonel Querubin has long been retired,” Bautista told reporters.

In the interview with the Inquirer, Querubin said the members of the First Reconnaissance Battalion led by 2nd Lt. Alfredo Lorin VI, who were sent on a test mission as part of their training, should not have fought it out with the Abu Sayyaf bandits.

Lorin, a 26-year-old graduate of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 2011, was killed in the encounter.

“We still haven’t learned our lessons,” Querubin said, pointing out that Marines belonging to recon teams were deployed only to “gather data and pass the data to the operating troops.”

Querubin is a former superintendent of the Philippine Marine Corps Training Center. The member of the PMA Class 1979 was awarded the Medal of Valor—the highest military honor for bravery in combat—for leading the liberation of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in March 2000.

He also led a military operation that killed Abu Sayyaf spokesman Abu Sabaya in a sea encounter off Zamboanga del Norte in 2002.

Bautista said an investigation into Saturday’s incident had begun as part of the AFP’s standard operating procedure after a military operation “whether the outcome is positive or negative.”

“We conduct inquiries for the lessons we may learn out of these incidents. In fact, we document these and publish the lessons we learned,” he said.

Probe team

Vice Adm. Jose Luis Alano, the Philippine Navy chief, said the investigative team would “look into the exact reasons behind the event” and “correct and improve our doctrines as far as conducting our operations is concerned.”

The team left Zamboanga City Monday for Sulu, said Lt. Vladimir Cabrera, Marine spokesman.

The Navy chief said that while the slain Marines were on a test mission, they were all experienced soldiers. He said their deployment was part of their training to improve their skills as members of the elite team of the Marines.

“It is part of the training and skills requirement that we are trying to develop for all sailors and marines. They must have the necessary skills in order to do what they are supposed to be doing,” Alano said.

The Navy chief said the two teams of the Marine recon unit were actually sent on Saturday to perform route security operations in Barangay Tugas in Patikul, Sulu, when a firefight broke out in a “meeting-encounter” with the Abu Sayyaf bandits.

“They were actually doing a route security preparing for the deployment of other follow-on forces. The incident happened actually within or near the vicinity of their main maneuvering base,” Alano said.

“Part of the standard procedures before you have a main body moving out to any destination maneuver [is to] make sure that the area is cleared. Now this forms part of the doctrines that we do as far as the conduct of operations is concerned.”—With reports from Julie S. Alipala and Jeofrey Maitem, Inquirer Mindanao

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: abu sayyaf , Armed Forces of the Philippines , clash , Marines , Military

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Ex-PBA player Bryan Gahol dies in road mishap


  • Napoles tags over 100 officials in pork scam – Lacson
  • Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  • Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  • 43 out of 414 Etihad passengers yet to be found, tested for MERS-CoV – Palace
  • Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  • Sports

  • San Mig Coffee grinds out win over Alaska to force decider
  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • UST posts twin kill in Filoil pre-season cup opening day
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • China won’t budge, wants PH gov’t to apologize to HK
  • Marketplace